Expanding Paid Leave

Feb 3, 2023

The federal legislative process on Capitol Hill has produced some of the most historic and culture shifting moments in our country. Many of the wisest lawmakers recognize that passing sweeping legislation can often be an iterative and years-long process. Lawmakers also note that if a proposed change is important, it will be echoed and amplified across the country and the urgency for action will grow until changes are implemented in Congress.

This edict holds for paid family and medical leave.

Family Medical Leave protections were made a priority and written into federal law under the Clinton Administration, 30 years ago. While needed and appreciated at the time, today’s focus is on how to encourage and expand access to family leave protection in a way that is efficiently managed and paid, as well as solvent for generations.  

Fortunately, a foundation for a national paid leave program exists today. Disability income insurance is already helping provide billions of dollars in paid leave benefits to millions of Americans who have to miss work, including for maternity leave. The opportunity to build on this system positions insurers, employers, and government to reach more workers rapidly, equitably and cost-effectively.

The American Council of Life Insurers is so pleased and encouraged to see the restart of meaningful bipartisan policy conversations. ACLI will continue to partner with stakeholders and legislators to expand this vitally important coverage for families and the strength of America’s workforce.

Lauryl Jackson

Lauryl Jackson is Vice President, Federal Relations for Financial Income Security and Diversity & Inclusion for the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). Prior to joining ACLI in January 2020, she led government affairs strategy for the priorities of the pharmaceutical industry.